June 21, 2020 - Home Worship Service

June 21st Father’s Day Worship Service

 

Welcome & Announcements: Good morning church! Next Sunday, June 28th, we will gather for our first worship service at 9am in the Lighthouse. The guidelines were sent to you a week ago.  If you did not receive them please check the church website, www.LightstreetUMC.org.  Under the Info Center menu, click Guidelines for Worship/Study/Meetings.  (We have been having email issues.  Please be sure this email address is saved in your address book:  mail@icnsend.com.)  Most importantly remember for all church activities, please bring your own chair and wear a mask. (This includes Bible study, crafters, meetings, and worship.)

 

But we will continue to email and mail the services, too. Plus we hope to broadcast on Facebook Live and services can be found through our church website: www.LightstreetUMC.org

 

June 21st we still offer ZOOM worship at 9am:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/757496754?pwd=ZUwyam5pYlI5L0tGSVJqRnNFWmlndz09

Or dial 1 929 436 2866 (toll free)

Meeting ID: 757 496 754

Password: 522345

 

Food Bank Giveaway Saturday June 27th. Gather at 8am at the John Buck Memorial Food Bank. Wear masks, please.

 

Prelude: Nearer My God, to Thee by Donna Farver

 

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-parks-snyder/nearer-my-god-to-ther/s-haHsyGrQxyq

 

Worship:

I invite you to light a candle to welcome the Light of the World in your presence and prepare your heart for worship this day:

 

Call to Worship

L: In the times of trouble, when all seemed hopeless, I cried out to God

P: And the Lord heard my pleas and answered me.

L: When I felt lost and alone, I looked for God.

P: And God found me and brought me home.

L: When my life was filled with joy and blessing, I danced and praised God.

P: And God danced and rejoiced with me. Thanks be to God. AMEN.

 

First Hymn: This is My Father’s World by Donna Farver

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-parks-snyder/this-is-my-fathers-world-1/s-a56nGxRjxq3

 

1. This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.

 

This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; His hand the wonders wrought.

 

2. This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white, declare their maker’s praise.

 

This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
in the rustling grass I hear Him pass; He speaks to me everywhere.

 

3. This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.

 

This is my Father’s world: why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring! God reigns; let the earth be glad!

 

Opening Prayer

God of small seeds and mighty plants, You take our meager lives and with Your love cause them to produce acts of loving kindness for You in this world. You hear our cries and find us when we are lost and wandering in fear. You bring us home with You so that we may be made whole, rejoicing in Your goodness. Help us to joyfully serve You all our days, knowing that You are always watching over us. Prepare our hearts to receive Your word and our spirits to respond in eagerness to serve You. In Jesus’ name, we pray. AMEN.

 

Children’s Moments

It's our children's time and I want to start with a question I ask you each and every week: Who are you? Children Respond: Special Gifts of God!

PJ: That's right, you are special gifts of God each and every day and I'm so lucky to spend time with you!

 

Today I want to acknowledge the fathers, uncles, brothers, teachers, friends who care for us, watch over us.

So, let’s do this, for all you gentlemen out there if this question applies to you, I need you to stand up so we can recognize you.

If you ever mowed the lawn or fixed anything in or around a home, you need to stand up.

If you ever took out the trash or changed the oil in someone’s car, stand up.

If you ever taught a lesson, or helped someone with homework, or a project, stand up.

If you ever held the hand of another person for support, or guidance, or for simple compassion, please stand up.

If you took the time to come to church on a Sunday, stand up. Just you being here is something to celebrate.

These are the patriarchs of our church and we are thankful. 

 

Blessing: God we thank You for these men who have helped us, taught us, cared for us, mowed for us, worked for us. May You bless all of them with the graces they need. Help them to feel special in Your eyes today and to know that we love them. Continue to give them strength and courage, compassion, and peace. Most of all, bless these men this day with Your love through Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Prayer & Lord’s Prayer:

Gracious God, as the nation takes time to honor Fathers, we give You thanks for the men who have been fathers and father figures in our lives. We thank You for the men who have made sacrifices with time, energy, and money to keep us fed and safe. We thank You for the men who gave us wisdom and guidance in dealing with life’s difficulties and problems. We thank You for the men who though they were tired, would go out and play ball so we may know the enjoyment of time together. And we thank You for the men who have encouraged us in knowing and trusting others, knowing, and trusting You. O Lord, we ask that You bless these fathers and father figures with a renewed awareness that they belong to You; protect them, love them, and lead them. Help them to succeed in all You call them to be and do, bless them with health and strengthen them for their vocation. Encourage and anoint them for their mission of loving and leading families to You. And may they live today with joy and tomorrow without regrets. Most of all on this day, we, as Your children, honor You, as our Father in heaven who created us and who holds us in being at this very moment to guide our growth into the fullness of Your blessed Son, Jesus Christ, and so it is in His name we offer our joys and we also offer You our concerns.

Heal, encourage, help, and love these people as You see fit, through Your Spirit and through us. We ask all this in the name of Your Son, who taught us to pray saying, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen. 

 

Invitation to the Offering: In gratitude for the blessings we have received from our Heavenly Father, we offer a portion back, offering our tithes, gifts, and service to be used to build God’s Kingdom.

 

Special Music for Fathers by Lindsay Pensyl

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-parks-snyder/how-he-loves-us-by-lindsay/s-sbCjBhCiFld

 

Offertory:

Gracious God, You have called us as children and heirs to be stewards of so much that You have entrusted to us -- stewards of the gifts, prayers, and presence we have offered to You this morning; but equally the prayers, service, and witness we might offer in the week ahead of us. We know that as stewards of the story of Your love and grace made real in Christ Jesus, it is a treasure we cannot keep, only give away. In Christ, we pray. Amen.

 

Scripture Lesson: Ezra 3:1-13

Worship Restored at Jerusalem

3When the seventh month came, and the Israelites were in the towns, the people gathered together in Jerusalem. 2Then Jeshua son of Jozadak, with his fellow priests, and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel with his kin set out to build the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt-offerings on it, as prescribed in the law of Moses the man of God. 3They set up the altar on its foundation, because they were in dread of the neighbouring peoples, and they offered burnt-offerings upon it to the Lord, morning and evening. 4And they kept the festival of booths, as prescribed, and offered the daily burnt-offerings by number according to the ordinance, as required for each day, 5and after that the regular burnt-offerings, the offerings at the new moon and at all the sacred festivals of the Lord, and the offerings of everyone who made a freewill-offering to the Lord. 6From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt-offerings to the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid. 7So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the Sidonians and the Tyrians to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant that they had from King Cyrus of Persia.

 

Foundations Laid for the Temple

8 In the second year after their arrival at the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak made a beginning, together with the rest of their people, the priests and the Levites and all who had come to Jerusalem from the captivity. They appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upwards, to have the oversight of the work on the house of the Lord. 9And Jeshua with his sons and his kin, and Kadmiel and his sons, Binnui and Hodaviah along with the sons of Henadad, the Levites, their sons and kin, together took charge of the workers in the house of God.

10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments were stationed to praise the Lord with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, according to the directions of King David of Israel; 11and they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord,
‘For he is good, for his steadfast love endures for ever towards Israel.’
And all the people responded with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12But many of the priests and Levites and heads of families, old people who had seen the first house on its foundations, wept with a loud voice when they saw this house, though many shouted aloud for joy, 13so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people shouted so loudly that the sound was heard far away.

 

 

 

 

Sermon: What’s Next: God’s Dream of the Story of Rebuilding Jerusalem: Praises & Tears

 

I’m sure you have seen the various ways schools and colleges offered graduation amidst the pandemic. Some were on-line, where the family members watched on their TVs, others were in person, where only family members could be present, and then others were in a parade, where the community could surround the families and see the seniors get their diploma. And during it all, you could hear the combination of responses. Shouts of joy and praise and also the shedding of tears as they let go of memories.

 

When I read this text, that’s what came to mind. When the former exiles faced a great achievement, they had laid the foundation for the Temple again, but such an accomplishment brought about weeping over the sorrow of what was over, what has gone by, along with praises of what will be.

 

Here’s the background: Last week we were taught how King Cyrus called upon the Jewish prince, Sheshbazzar to lead the Hebrews home and to rebuild the Temple. Sheshbazzar led them home, the 900-mile trip that took 7 months according to this text, and this is what they do in verse 1: the people gathered together in Jerusalem. 2Then Jeshua son of Jozadak, with his fellow priests, and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel with his kin set out to build the altar of the God of Israel, …and they offered burnt-offerings upon it to the Lord, morning and evening. You know the people are God’s when the first thing they do is set up an altar and offer a sacrifice to God. For now, the Hebrews are off to a good start, making certain this time, they center on God.

 

Next, verse 4, And they kept the festival of booths, as prescribed, and offered the daily burnt-offerings by number according to the ordinance, as required for each day, You may recall the Festival of the Booths is a Jewish celebration where they make these temporary shelters to live in, as a reminder of how Moses and the Israelites lived in the wilderness before coming to the promised land. So, the returned exiles are reclaiming their land with the religious traditions of their ancestors.

 

In fact, they then begin to give regular offerings, as if to say, thank you God! Verse 6, 6From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt-offerings to the Lord. We are back, we are here. You brought us here again, as You did our parents before us. And we praise You.

 

The text states, But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid. 7So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the Sidonians and the Tyrians to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant that they had from King Cyrus of Persia. They needed to rebuild the Temple. So, they got to work. They planned for a year and two months, then they appointed the priests from the tribe of Levi to oversee the work on the Temple.

 

And when the foundation was laid, a celebration was had, met with praises, and met with tears. Verse 11,

And all the people responded with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12But many of the priests and Levites and heads of families, old people who had seen the first house on its foundations, wept with a loud voice when they saw this house, though many shouted aloud for joy, 13so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people shouted so loudly that the sound was heard far away.

 

Isn’t it interesting the author of this text ends with the telling of weeping and praises? Some celebrated what had occurred, as a new beginning. They were back in the land of their ancestors! And they were able to congregate and give offerings to their God! But others were crying tears for what was. Some of that was simply those who knew the Temple before, recognized it would not be the same Temple again. There was not as many workers as with the first; the materials were lower quality; some objects were even lost like the ark of the covenant and the 10 commandments. The Temple will not be the same. Jerusalem will not be the same. Life will not be the same. Hence the wailing with tears.

 

I do find this an interesting place to end this chapter because life is not the same for us in the midst of this pandemic, and this text begs us to check our hearts to discern are we a person who is crying for what was, or are we a person who can look at what is and welcome a new beginning?

 

As we are working through this sermon series learning about God’s dreams through the rebuilding of Jerusalem, last week I mentioned that we all may be dealing with abandoning some dreams we had before COVID, and seeing what new dreams God is leading us to. And to be honest, we are all facing this. We face it with our jobs – what does it mean to work with masks and extra cleaning? We face it with our families – can we see each other as often as we use to? With our relationships – we ponder, how do we keep our friendships going when we are limited in how we see each other? And with the church – we need to reflect on this, what does it look like to worship together again? Will there be tears of joys and tears of sorrow?  Which means, next Sunday each of us will decide, am I a person who will choose not to come to church or even watch it, because it will not be the same? I mean we cannot shake each other’s hands. It won’t be in the sanctuary. And we can’t share coffee or snacks! Or will I be a person who is just so happy to get together with my brothers and sisters in Christ that I will turn on Facebook live and sing with the praise band. Or I will drag my lawn chair and mask to the building because I just want to see them, and I want to feel that sweet, sweet Spirit in that place?

 

The text comes to us today and challenges us to look in our hearts and see what God is building. Maybe God is building something that takes away something we knew so well, yet at the same time, maybe God is saying, it’s changed, and you need to change, too.

 

I personally am struggling with this. They certainly did not teach me how to do church like this seminary. And as far as dealing with other items in my life, as a mom, I hear this text and I wonder, am I person who dwells on my son graduating and leaving me for college? Or am I person who is excited for what life will bring him?

That is when I remembered this book. I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. I bought this book before I had Lucas. And I would read it to him when he was younger. Are you familiar with it?

 

It tells the story of when a mother holds her new baby and sings a song,

            I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.

The story continues that no matter the age, the mother, at nighttime, sings that same song to him. As a teenager, as a young adult. And when the mother is too old to do that, the son picks up the song and sings to his mother, as well as his new baby. I know at times it seems like the mother is stalking her son. But you get the message. It is so true, how our children will always be our babies that we love and like forever. So that as I re-read this book this week, I recognized that my tears of memories and my tears of joy were the same, because they are tears of unconditional love that will always be there for my son.

 

For us as a church, there is no doubt we thank God for caring for us, for holding us through these past months, through this pandemic. But may we also remember that through the changes we are and will face, God still holds us, so that next week when we do gather at the sanctuary, via in person with a mask or online, it will be alright to cry, to weep, because no matter what, we have a Heavenly Father who loves us forever and likes us always. We have a good, good Father, who deserves our praise.

 

Closing song: Good, Good Father by the LUMC Praise Band

 

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-parks-snyder/good-good-father-1/s-eM82FXWTvMW

 

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like

But I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of the night

And You tell me that you’re pleased and that I’m never alone

 

Refrain:

You’re a good good father

It’s who You are

It’s who You are

It’s who You are

And I’m loved by You

It’s who I am

It’s who I am

It’s who I am

 

Oh, and I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide

But I know we’re all searching for answers only You provide

‘Cause You know just what we need before we say a word

Refrain

 

Cause You are perfect in all of your ways

You are perfect in all of your ways

You are perfect in all your ways to us (Repeat)

 

Oh, it’s love so undeniable I, I can hardly speak

Peace so unexplainable I, I can hardly think

As You call me deeper still as You call me deeper still

As you call me deeper still into love, love, love

Refrain

(repeat)

 

Benediction: (based on Jeremiah 31)

 

Listen to what the Lord says: “I have loved you with an everlasting love, and still I maintain My unfailing love toward you. I will lead you beside quiet streams, and down smooth, uncluttered paths so that you do not stumble. For I have become a Father to you, and you are my firstborn child.”

 

Go from here in confidence, knowing that the love of God the Father, the grace of Jesus Christ, and the presence of the Holy Spirit, goes with you and holds you forever. Amen.

 

 

 
  October 2020  
SMTWTFS
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
     
Bible Search
Contents © 2020 Lightstreet United Methodist Church • Church Website Builder by mychurchwebsite.netPrivacy Policy